Cubs Find Perfect Way to Cap Crappy Season: Getting Swept at Home by the Pirates


September got off to a winning start for the Cubs, who at the time still had hope of climbing back into the Wild Card race.

Unfortunately, that playoff run never materialized in a meaningful way, and by the end of the month, the Cubs had nothing to play for except pride.

Pride, evidently, was not sufficient motivation for the Cubs to put up a decent effort on the last day of the month against the lowly Pirates, a team they’d spent most of the year beating the tar out of.  The result: a doubleheader sweep by Pittsburgh.

The Cubs put on a generally feeble performance, but I don’t want to suggest that none of the players cared.  I think Ted Lilly cared; unfortunately, he didn’t have the stuff to go with his gumption, and ended up losing the opener, a game in which the Cubs scored not a single run.

The offense would recover for the second game and post a staggering 2 runs in support of Carlos Zambrano – who gave up four runs in six innings, failing in his bid to reach double-digit victories.

If I had to pick one stat that summed up how disappointing the year has been, I would choose Zambrano’s 9-7 record.  This guy is supposed to be the ace, but he can’t even make it to 10 wins.  Of course it was not all Carlos’s fault – he didn’t always get the run support, and he was hurt a lot.

And, frankly, he’s not that great of a pitcher.  On certain days he is an ace, but on other days he is barely a 4th starter.

It seems fitting that Carlos’s year would end on such a sour note.  It started out sort of sour, and it was sour in the middle, and the sourness showed up in Carlos’s attitude and his statements hinting that he might prefer not to be a Cub anymore.

But it doesn’t look like Carlos is going to get that wish.  Indications are the Cubs intend going into next season with the same starting pitchers they have right now.  That’s fine, if they upgrade the defense and find another bat, preferably a lefty one with power, to hit behind Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez.

There I go dreaming again.  Well, dreams are all we have left.  And one last game against the Pirates before the Diamondbacks roll in.  How will I contain my excitement.